U.S. Customs and Border Patrol is holding migrants “partially outdoors” near a bridge in, an official confirmed to CBS News on Tuesday. Border Patrol didn’t provide a number of how many people were being held, but U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar told Texas Monthly she saw “at least a couple hundred” people being detained outdoors.
“During the current crisis, U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) has had to take extraordinary measures to ensure the safety of our agents and those in our custody,” a Customs and Border Patrol agent said. “As such, and to avoid severe overcrowding of USBP temporary holding facilities, every available space which provides both freedom of movement, safety and security for those in our custody are used as necessary. Throughout the intake, processing and holding of those in our custody, some individuals are being held in an area near” Paso del Norte Bridge in El Paso.
Temperatures in El Paso could reach the high 90s this week.
The news about the outdoor facilities was first reported by Texas Monthly. New Mexico State University professor Neal Rosendorf described the conditions to Texas Monthly as being like a “human dog pound.”
This is not the first time migrants were held outdoors in El Paso. In March, aseeking asylum in El Paso led to hundreds of families being detained under the bridge. The enclosure was later cleared out.
Angel Canales contributed reporting.